Social Computing and Virtual Communities  book cover
1st Edition

Social Computing and Virtual Communities

ISBN 9781420090420
Published December 23, 2009 by Chapman and Hall/CRC
304 Pages 47 B/W Illustrations

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Book Description

Growing more quickly than we can study or come to fully understand it, social computing is much more than the next thing. Whether it is due more to technology-driven convenience or to the basic human need to find kindred connection, online communication and communities are changing the way we live.
Social Computing and Virtual Communities compiles contributions from international experts to offer the sort of multidisciplinary study that is required in any investigation of communities. Delving fully into theories and methods, application areas, and types of online social environments, this book —

  • Introduces several theories regarding online social interaction
  • Provides a general overview of methodologies, qualitative and quantitative, for analyzing and evaluating virtual communities
  • Makes an in-depth investigation into e-learning communities and the formation of social networks of learners
  • Examines healthcare communities motivated by physical pain, illness, and burdensome symptoms
  • Discusses intellectual property (IP) issues, including those involving user-generated content
  • Delves into the topic of online trust
  • Introduces virtual communities, in which users immerse themselves in a 3D virtual environment, including MMORPG (massively multiplayer online role playing games)
  • Presents an unusual community of older people of Chinese culture who perceive virtual communities as a place where old beliefs and traditional norms can be preserved
  • Explores the rapid rise of social networking sites (SNS)

Books of this kind are uncommon. This work not only provides case studies of different domains of virtual communities and different types of social technologies but also emphasizes theoretical and methodological aspects required to research and analyze such communities.

Table of Contents

1. Theoretical Foundations of Social Computing and Virtual Communities; Charalambos Vrasidas and George Veletsianos
2. An Overview of Social Networks; Gindo Tampubolon
3. Research Methods 2.0: Doing Research Using Virtual Communities; Paul Cairns and Mark Blythe
4. E-Learning Communities; Andrew Laghos
5. Technology-Enhanced Health Communities: Research on the Use of Social Computing Applications byBoth the Sick and the Well; Laura Slaughter, Aksel Tjora, and Anne-Grete Sandaunet
6. Online Support Communities; Ulrike Pfeil
7. Online Content Sharing; Masahiro Hamasaki, Kouchiro Eto, Sri Kurniawan, Tom Hope, Hideaki Takeda, and Takuichi Nishimura
8. From Online Familiarity to Offline Trust: How a Virtual Community Creates Familiarity and Trust between Strangers; Paula Bialski and Dominik Batorski
9 Second Life, Immersion, and Learning; Diane Carr and Martin Oliver
10. Residency, Relationships, and Responsibility: The Social Side of World of Warcraft; David White
11. Perceiving an Internet Community as a "Utopia": Beliefs, Norms, and Resistance among Older Chinese; Bo Xie
12. Social Network Sites: An Exploration of Features and Diversity; Mike Thelwall and David Stuart

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I recommend this book to undergraduate teachers and educational researchers seeking an overview of the topic and a clear understanding of the breadth of subject matter that encompasses online communication between people.
—S.M. Godwin, Computing Reviews, September 2011